Purpose: This intensified case finding study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease among people with HIV entering the largest prison in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach: The study was conducted in Kajang prison, starting in July 2013 in the men's prison and June 2015 in the women's prison. Individuals tested positive for HIV infection, during the mandatory HIV testing at the prison entry, were consecutively recruited over five months at each prison. Consented participants were interviewed using a structured questionnaire and asked to submit two sputum samples that were assessed using GeneXpert MTB/RIF (Xpert) and culture, irrespective of clinical presentation. Factors associated with active TB (defined as a positive result on either Xpert or culture) were assessed using regression analyses.

Findings: Overall, 214 incarcerated people with HIV were recruited. Most were men (84.6%), Malaysians (84.1%) and people who inject drugs (67.8%). The mean age was 37.5 (SD 8.2) years, and median CD4 lymphocyte count was 376 cells/mL (IQR 232-526). Overall, 27 (12.6%) TB cases were identified, which was independently associated with scores of five or more on the World Health Organization clinical scoring system for prisons (ARR 2.90 [95% CI 1.48-5.68]).

Originality/value: Limited data exists about the prevalence of TB disease at prison entry, globally and none from Malaysia. The reported high prevalence of TB disease in the study adds an important and highly needed information to design comprehensive TB control programmes in prisons.

Keywords: Entry; HIV; Malaysia; Prison; Tuberculosis; Xpert.

This intensified case finding study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease among people with HIV entering the largest prison in Malaysia.


  • 1The Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Centre for International Health, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • 2Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and The Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


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